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Republican lawmakers expected to use House majority to focus on ‘woke capitalism’

Yahoo Finance senior columnist Rick Newman outlines conservative lawmakers' intend to take on "woke capitalism", or companies that are sociopolitically active.

Video Transcript

DAVE BRIGGS: The red wave expected to sweep across the country was more of a small ripple, albeit one with rather large implications within the Republican Party. It is expected that Kevin McCarthy will face a leadership challenge, and whomever becomes the Speaker will then take on big business in a rather strange turn of events for the party. Senior columnist Rick Newman here to tell us why. Rick, the GOP against the Chamber of Commerce. What's the deal?

RICK NEWMAN: Yeah, and I think the way this is going to play out is just through hearings that the Republicans will now control in the House of Representatives, whether McCarthy is the Speaker of the House or somebody else is. But they're going to make a big show probably of calling up some CEOs of so-called woke companies that overtly support liberal social causes or different types of ESG measures. And they're going to try to embarrass them and see if they can gain some traction among the anti-woke voters out there. And I'm not 100% sure it's going to work.

So Ron DeSantis had pretty good success with this in Disney, in Florida with Disney and a couple of other companies when they came out against the so-called Don't Say Gay law. But the rest of the country is not Florida. And members of Congress are not Ron DeSantis. So the reason that companies behave the way they do is because they're getting a lot of pressure from other constituents who want them to focus heavily on good governance and get on the right side, whatever the right side is, of certain social policies.

And Donald Trump, let's remember, he was not shy at all about bashing companies when he didn't like what they were doing, and basically severing those old links between big business and the Republican Party. And Trump lost in 2020. And his candidates did poorly in 2022. So I think what's going to happen is Republicans are basically going to be testing if anti-woke capitalism actually works.

DAVE BRIGGS: Yeah, I would have thought the trial balloon on that popped with the midterms. It'd be interesting, though, to see how Bob Iger might have handled that situation down there in Florida. But we'll never know. Rick Newman, good to see you, sir. Thank you.

RICK NEWMAN: Bye, guys.